Blog 3 – Moving to a ward

Welcome back readers…..

This blog post started writing itself in my head last night, when I woke at 2am for a pee.  It’s a pain when you’re reliant on a mobility aid.  And when it takes a while to extract yourself from bed. Typically, whatever my head started to write has fallen out through the course of the day.  I’ll start again.  Blog posts normally write themselves from somewhere in my subconscious anyway.  I’m special like that.

So.  After 6 days in Critical Care and ITU, I was moved on to the Major Trauma Ward.  Saturday 27th July.  Miraculous really, that only 6 days after this horrific smash, I was well enough to move on to a ward.  I was still on oxygen.  We’d got rid of the epidural thing.  The chest drain had come out.  I had the leg frame in place and my wrist remained in plaster.  It still hadn’t been operated on at this point.  I’d come off ketamine a good couple of days previously (I think. Might not have….).  I was trundled through the hospital, and taken into a bay with two other ladies in.  By now I knew that at some point, I could have visitors.  I knew that various members of the biker community were planning to come in.  I thought these two ladies probably wouldn’t really appreciate it.  It turned out I was wrong.  One of them was really sound.  Never judge a book and all that.

I was in a bit of pain, but just slept a lot.  It’s such a good defence mechanism.  If in doubt, sleep.  Works for me.  I had a PCN – button to press to give me morphine.  I did get grumbled at by one of the pain team for not using it enough in that first week on the ward.  I told her I forgot when she asked why I hadn’t used it.  This is pretty much true.  If pain isn’t unbearable, why would I be pumping pain relief into me??!! Of course I forgot!  I also had a CT scan on my wrist on the Sunday, and it was operated on, on the Monday.  Operation number 3 in just over a week.  But at least now, that was hopefully all of them.

My daughters came in to see me.  My youngest daughter successfully asked every single difficult question she could think of.  I answered every single one.  She needed to have good honest answers.  It’s what she’s like.  My eldest daughter is standoffish at times, bless her.  The girls appeared to be actually getting on ok at the time! They’d just moved house with their dad, so they were doing ok. It was a relief to see them, and see that they were coping ok. It was, selfishly, one less thing for me to worry about. My babies were doing ok………for now.

Cards started to find me on the ward.  Ones that had been sent to me while I was in Critical Care.  Others made it when my new location was made known.  I received a card from Martin’s family, wishing me well and keeping me in their thoughts.  After what they had lost, they still thought of me.  Humbling. Very, very humbling.  And this simple card gave me the release that I so desperately needed.  It made me cry.  Inconsolably.  Everything that I hadn’t managed to do before came out.  I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.  This card triggered 3 days of crying.  Everything set me off.  I felt sorry for doctors coming to see me – I’d look at them and burst into tears.  Poor sods must have started to get a complex.  This was a couple of days before Martin’s funeral.  I thought of the logistics of going to the funeral – impossible, because I was still on oxygen.

I’d had the entertainment of dear Sheila on the ward.  A 70 year old lady suffering from dementia.  They ended up moving her to a different bay, because she was being disruptive.  She made me giggle so much on her first night, bless her.  I’d also been dragged out of my bed by the physio-terrorists…………only joking (that they’re terrorists).  The first time I stood up, I chucked a huge whitey and had to sit back down again pretty much straight away.  They came back later, and we had another go.  This was more successful, and I got to sit out for a bit.  Progress indeed.

The day of the funeral, 2nd August, I warned staff that I’d probably be a mess.  I spent much of the morning thinking. Reflecting. I did cry. I had everyone in my thoughts, hoping they were all bearing up ok.  Then I had a mass visitation.  A large group of the North West Bikers forum had come to the hospital to see me…………singing the Imperial March as they came up the stairs (you bunch of kids, I love you all).   The visit was accommodated, with me being taken through to the relatives room, complete with oxygen and my delightful catheter bag.  We rotated visitors – there were 20-30 bikers in all,  Mainly in full leathers 😀  It gave me a massive boost to see everyone – and this was when I learnt that I’d been saying, at the crash site, that Peter was coming to get me to take me for a burger.  My response “who the fuck is Peter??”.  I still don’t know!! And why would I go for a burger? I’m vegetarian!! Anyway…..

When we crashed, I had long hair.  It was down to my waist, and I used to wear it loose under my crash helmet.  By the time I got on to the ward, it had become matted and resembled a very large dreadlock.  Or possibly a dead cat.  What started then was a lot of attempts to get the matted, knotted mess out.  I loved my hair, and didn’t want to lose it.  It would be, to me, one of the worst things to happen.  We worked hard on it that week.  I was hopeful of it working….

My first week on the ward saw a lot of progress.  I learned that I would be moving, at some point, to a rehabilitation unit.  I didn’t know such things existed! I still had no idea how long I would be an in-patient for, or how long the healing would take.  I guessed it would be quite a long process.  Writing this blog is bringing back memories of that week, and of the turmoil of feelings.  It is cathartic and is doing me good.  As I write, I hope that it doesn’t upset readers too much.  I would like readers to understand that it is probably worse reading my accounts rather than it was living it.  Truly.

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2 thoughts on “Blog 3 – Moving to a ward

  1. Hi, just wanted to say that I’m enjoying following your blog – well, ‘enjoying’ isn’t the right word, as of course some of it makes for uncomfortable and emotional reading. You write so well and I admire your courage and humour! It’s also very illuminating for me professionally as one of those physio-terrorists 😉 I was responsible for the card from Martin’s family so I’m glad it reached you, but didn’t anticipate such a strong response; I hope it was cathartic rather than traumatic, as we really are (still) thinking of you and wishing you well for your recovery. x

    1. Hi Dianne, I’m glad that you’re ‘enjoying’ it. The card was incredibly cathartic, and gave me the release I needed. The blog is helping me work through an awful lot of the trauma. I miss your brother every single day, and have all of you in my thoughts. It is a long, hard road this – not just my recovery, but also the process of grief. Much love you to you all xxxx

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